A few months ago, I had the privilege of getting to meet our volunteer coordinator, Katalina, from Cardinal Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia. Katalina, like so many of our volunteer coordinators around the world, feels strongly about the value of our sponsorship program, mostly because she grew up in a family that had to work to make ends meet and didn’t always have access to basic needs. For her, helping kids at her school has a personal meaning, and she is endlessly grateful for the support of Children Incorporated sponsors.
Today, we hear from Katalina, who wrote us a letter to thank all of our supporters for what she is able to provide to the children at Cardinal Elementary School, all thanks to their donations.
“The families served by Children Incorporated are so grateful, as I am, for the comfort it brings to these children.”
A letter from Katalina
“This is the second year I have had the opportunity to partner with Children Incorporated through their affiliation with Communities in School at Cardinal Elementary School. I am so amazed and thankful for the difference they make in the lives of children.”
“This school year, I had 24 children enrolled in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, and the impact has been incredible. Each of the children received items they otherwise would not be able to buy. I also had two families this year that were recipients of Hope In Action Funds. The first family, which has two children sponsored, was struggling after a job loss and their lights had been cut off. Children Incorporated was able to step in and help pay their electric bill just in time for the cold winter months as they worked hard to get back on their feet.”
Helping when emergencies strike
“The second family experienced a devastating house fire that destroyed everything. The family’s three girls, who were also in the sponsorship program, were overjoyed to get not only clothes, but educational toys and arts and craft supplies. I had the joy of dropping these items at their new home, and it felt like Christmas morning to them. The girls were going through the bags so excitedly, as they smiled seeing new books and other gifts. The parents were really excited that they received workbooks to help them with their reading and math skills.”
“The other children in the program received a great deal of support as well. They were able to get new clothes at the beginning of each new season, so they stayed warm in the winter and were able to adjust when the weather got hot again in the spring.”
“Having appropriate clothing is something that we often take for granted, but for these children, clothing is hard to come by, and it is difficult to concentrate and learn if you are cold or too hot. The children get so excited about the new clothes and shoes they receive, and it never fails that many come to me and show off their outfits when they wear their new items to school.”
Making birthdays and holidays special
“In addition to the monthly gifts which help so much, several sponsors give additional extra funds to the children for the holidays or for birthdays. These extra funds made such an impact. In every instance, I met with the child and explained that they had received some extra funds from their sponsor and told them what they could spend it on. Then I would get their direct input on what they wanted, and we would shop online for the gifts. This brings the children so much joy – one little girl, Megan, asked for roller blades for Christmas, and when I brought them to her home, she immediately put them on and started skating around.”
“In addition to the monthly gifts which help so much, several sponsors give additional extra funds to the children for the holidays or for birthdays. These extra funds made such an impact.”
“Another child, Mark, really wanted a Lego set — the expression on his face when receiving it was indescribable. He began to cry with happiness, and his mom was overwhelmed with gratitude. I only wish the sponsors themselves could see first-hand how they are changing the lives of these children. I am honored to be able to be a part of this program throughout the year.”
“Most of the families at my school are of very low socioeconomic status, and as a result, their children don’t always get what they need. The children are also growing so fast it’s hard for parents to keep up with well-fitting clothing and shoes. The families served by Children Incorporated are so grateful, as I am, for the comfort it brings to these children.”
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD WITH CHILDREN INCORPORATED?
You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.